Offensive Counter Space Operations: Capabilities, Command, and Considerations
NAVAL WAR COLL NEWPORT RI JOINT MILITARY OPERATIONS DEPT
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U.S. dependency on space and an increased potential for conflict in space have led to a new form of warfare aimed at denying the adversary access to space. Offensive Counter Space is yet another tool the Joint Force Commander can use to subdue an enemy who possesses or simply has access to space. Three questions arise when planning for and executing these types of operations in a theater Joint Task Force 1 What types of forces should be employed 2 What should the command and control structure look like 3 What global considerations should be made during mission planning This paper first explains why space is important to the enemy in todays political and military environment. It continues by answering each of the three questions above. First, the most effective execution of Offensive Counter Space missions is through the joint force employment of aircraft, missiles, counter space technologies, and special operations. Next, unity of command is secured by placing all forces with an OCS mission under the Joint Force Air Component Commander in a Joint Task Force construct. Finally, it is stressed that global secondary space effects must be taken into account and that U.S. Strategic Command expertise can assist in these planning efforts. Conclusions and recommendations are made in regards to potential Joint Task Force organizational structures, rewriting the space operations joint publication, creating a new counter space operations joint publication addressing these and other issues, and adding a Universal Joint Task for offensive counter space operations. Only through these changes will the joint force understand how to best conduct these operations, enhance U.S. capabilities in these areas, and allow for the best chance of success when denying an enemy access to space.
- Military Operations, Strategy and Tactics